Five things we learned about the Bundesliga
Five things we learned from the final round of Bundesliga matches before the winter break with Bayern Munich leading the table and Andre Schubert the seventh coach fired since September:
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has slammed the merry-go-round culture of Bundesliga sackings after Andre Schubert on Wednesday became the seventh coach fired since September in Germany’s top flight.
“It’s crazy when you regularly change key personnel,” said the Dortmund boss.
“You have to be careful that you don’t pulverise any long-term structural work by trying to straighten things out on a day-to-day basis.
“If you are convinced of the work of a coach or sports director, you have to go through one or two troughs.”
Ex-Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking is tipped to succeed Schubert, who took Gladbach from bottom to fourth last season, but his team earned just six points in their last ten league games.
He joins Dirk Schuster (Augsburg), Norbert Meier (Darmstadt), Markus Kauczinski (Ingolstadt), Dieter Hecking (Wolfsburg), Bruno Labbadia (Hamburg) and Viktor Skrypnyk (Werder Bremen) who have been sacked this season.
Draxler’s January exit
Julian Draxler is widely tipped to leave Wolfsburg when the transfer window opens on January 1.
The 23-year-old World Cup winner has repeatedly said he wants to leave and was thrown out of the squad for their recent 5-0 drubbing at Bayern. He did not bother to join team-mates celebrating last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Frankfurt.
The French media claim Paris Saint Germain want to sign Draxler, while Arsenal and Juventus are also reportedly interested.
But Wolfsburg will want a high price having paid Schalke 35 million euros ($37.3m) for Draxler in August 2015.
Borussia Dortmund boasts one of the Bundesliga’s best attacks, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Mario Goetze, but drew all of their last three games in 2016.
They came from behind each time to claim a point against Cologne, Hoffeheim and Augsburg leaving coach Thomas Tuchel tearing his hair out.
“We’ve lost our threat and made insanely simple mistakes,” fumed Tuchel after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Augsburg.
“Our bite, energy, our structure — in every league game we let those things go missing.
“We’re sleepy, there’s sloppiness in the technical things we do and in tactical things. It’s been a factor this season.”
Tuchel has some clear problems to fix in the winter break, especially after Ji Dong-Won gave Augsburg the lead in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw after defender Martin Hinteregger ran through five Borussia players.
RB boss sets Europa goal
RB Leipzig came off a poor second to Bayern in Wednesday’s duel, but their backer, Red Bull’s co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz has set a minimum goal of Europa League qualification this season.
“We know that four teams qualify for the Champions League and two go into the Europa League — that’s our basic goal,” the billionaire Austrian told Swiss newspaper Blick.
Despite being humbled at Bayern, Leipzig enjoyed a record 13-match unbeaten run at the start of their debut Bundesliga season.
They have won 11 of their first 16 games to leave them trailing Bayern by three points.
Mateschitz has changed his expectations having told Sport Bild before the season that he expected a midtable finish.
Hummels’ hairdresser malfuction
Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels dyed his hair blond for Wednesday’s 3-0 win over RB Leipzig after losing a bet at the Oktoberfest beer festival.
The 28-year-old World Cup winner, who normally has dark hair, went peroxide for the top-of-the-table showdown at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
Hummels lost a game of skittles during a visit to Munich’s Oktoberfest, the world’s most popular annual beer festival.
“After one throw, my opponent had already knocked over more than I had in my three attempts,” the defender told Sky, who was careful not to name who he lost the bet to.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse